USL News Release
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
TAMPA, FL – Veteran USL First Division star midfielder Andrew Gregor announced his retirement from the game following a professional career that began in 1998 and included a USL First Division championship and numerous league honors in his time with eight different professional clubs in both indoor and outdoor soccer.
“I want to thank my family and friends for their support over the years; my teammates for being there; and the different organizations I have played for over the years,” he said. “It was a great career and I am happy to have played in USL.”
Winning the 2005 championship in Seattle ranked as Gregor’s top moment in reflecting on his career in the USL First Division. Gregor noted how it was an up and down season for the team and how he overcame personal trials that season. The veteran midfielder had broken his foot, but returned in time to help lead the Sounders to the title.
“I was glad to help win with a great group of guys,” said Gregor, who played only 16 games that season, but was critical in the title run. The midfielder tallied two assists in the playoffs, including on the 90th minute game-winning goal in Montreal as Seattle advanced 4-3 on aggregate.
Much of Gregor’s career was as part of the Northwest trio of Portland, Seattle and Vancouver. He is one of the few to play for all three clubs at some point.
“The rivalry is great and I feel really special to have seen and experienced it from all sides,” said Gregor. “I’m honored to have been a part of that.”
Part of what makes the rivalry unique is the fan support, which Gregor made sure to point out and commend. “I definitely want to thank the fans – those who supported me despite the ups ands downs that came with that,” alluding to their reactions to his switching teams and on-field combative style of play. “Without them, we would not be able to play this game.”
A Portland native, Gregor originally started with Seattle after his pro debut in Columbus in 1998, signing his first USL-1 deal in 2000 after previously making his USL-1 debut in 1998 on loan to the US Pro-40 squad. He returned to MLS in 2001 with Kansas City, but spent time with Seattle on loan and re-signed with the Sounders again in 2002, finding a permanent home in the league.
He returned to his hometown in 2004 after a very brief stint in Vancouver with the Whitecaps early in the campaign, but found himself back in Seattle once again in 2005. Gregor returned to the Timbers in 2007 and spent two seasons with the club before a midseason trade in 2008 sent him to Rochester, where he has spent the past year and a half.
After attending the University of Portland, Gregor’s professional career began with his second round selection (21st overall) in the 1998 MLS College Draft by the Columbus Crew. His brief stints in MLS finished with 23 games played and four assists for Columbus and Kansas City in the regular season. His professional career also included a brief loan to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in USL-1 in 2001 and the 2002-03 season with the Cleveland Crunch indoor team.
Gregor, who also spent time with the US youth national team and futsal programs, is one of 21 players to have earned USL First Division All-League honors four times, receiving the award in 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2007. Only 12 other players have been honored five or six times. Over his USL-1 career, he played 211 regular season matches with 44 goals and 33 assists.
While Gregor is hanging up the boots as a professional, he has not yet contemplated leaving the sport entirely, stating his intent to stay in soccer.
“I am planning on staying in the game in some fashion,” he said he said from his home in Portland. “I hope to be involved in soccer in some aspect for sure.”
And for anyone looking to lure him back, they won’t have much luck.
“Every player has their time - that time to turn the page,” said Gregor. “My body was telling me it was time and my mind was saying that was the responsible thing to do. There is no chance I will be lured back.”
And as many of the fans and the players in the Northwest rivalry and USL-1 can tell you, Gregor has a bit of bite in his bark.